Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Day in the Life

Today was just a regular ordinary day for me. I awoke at 6:30, went down the cellar and loaded the wood stove. After burning all night there were some live coals left to reignite and rekindle the wood.This is not my usual job but my husband was away on business and so it became my job. Then I went back upstairs took a shower, blow dried my hair and got dressed. It had snowed more over night so it was necessary to put my boots and snow pants on and shovel the walkway and a path to the garage.I was worried that since my husband wasn't home to snow blow the driveway that I might get my Jeep stuck in the 8-10 inches of snow despite having four wheel drive.(I had already shoveled the day before just to get ahead of the game but then it snowed another few inches overnight. My nose was running and I didn't have a kleenex so I had to wipe my nose on the sleeve of my LL Bean anorak. By 8:30 I was pretty tired from all the snow shoveling and I had a 9:15 dentist appointment so I was very conscious of the time. I changed out of my snow shoveling clothes and put my work clothes back on.

I was able to make a quick cup of tea and eat a piece of corn bread while simultaneously packing a quickie lunch. I had to brush my teeth for the second time before I left the house because it's not nice to show up at the dentist with food bits in your teeth.

I was a little worried about backing out of the garage and making it down the long driveway with 8 inches of snow so I had my four wheel drive in gear and kept enough speed and momentum so that I wouldn't get stuck which has happened to me before. The roads had been plowed and they were clear of any substantial snow however the side roads were plowed but still slightly snow covered. I had to put the Jeep back in four wheel drive on the side street of my dentist's office.The parking lot was plowed with no problems with parking. It was about 13 degrees out so I had my long coat on but didn't wear a hat because I didn't want to look like I had hat head.

The dentist's office is a friendly place and I was greeted by my first name and told my dental hygienist would be right out to get me. I was there to get my teeth cleaned for my 6 month visit so it was fairly routine.My dental hygienist has a thing for cats and her whole exam room is adorned with cat posters and cat memorabilia.She also has dozens of tooth nicknaks and posters of teeth and dental care tips. I got to pick mint flavor as my choice for the stuff they clean your teeth with.We had quite a chat about the weather which is the usual topic of conversation during our snowy cold winters. I kept my eyes gazing at one of the cat posters which displayed 100 cats and a mouse and picked my favorite one and we talked about some of the other cute cats. While lieing in the reclined chair I began to notice my sore muscles from all the snow shoveling and then I told her about it all and then we talked about how I didn't know how to operate our snow blower at home and my husband being away.

The dentist comes in to check your teeth after they have been cleaned and she told me I had a few suspicious spots and would need to come back for some small fillings. I have had the misfortune of having rather cavity prone teeth my whole life and commented I should be Mrs. Dental Queen USA. My dental insurance sucks so I had to pay the difference between what they charge and what my insurance pays so I wrote a check.They gave me a follow up appointment to come back in a few weeks.

I had a quick errand to run and brought my blazer in to the dry cleaners to drop off. Then I decided to stop at Walmart because I drive past it on my way to work. Many of my co-workers are anti Walmart because of the wages and lack of health insurance afforded their workers by keeping most of them at part-time.I was in the mood to look at bras and decided to buy two. I also saw some loungey type sweat pants that I like to wear around the house so I bought a blue pair and a matching long sleeve T.

I had killed enough time by then and decided I better show up at work. It was 11:30 and I managed to get down the hallway and unlock my office door unnoticed. I checked in with the receptionist that I was there and then picked up stuff out of my mail box and returned to my office and shut my door so I could get some work done before anyone realized I was in. I decided to work thru lunch since I had been gone all morning and there is always paper work hanging over all our heads so I could get some done before my first appointment for the afternoon. In between I encountered a coworker who had to vent about a meeting the previous day that did not go well for her and I offered my sympathies. We often commiserate about a director-psychiatrist who is very difficult to deal with and has to be in control. I was able to eat a few crackers and cheese and some grapes before I saw my first client.

My afternoon consisted of seeing 3 back to back clients in a row but it wasn't too bad because it had been a short day for me but I was physically tired from all the snow shoveling and wrestling large chunks of wood in to the wood stove that morning. It started to snow again as I looked out the window and thought to myself "oh shit, another white knuckle drive home on snowy roads".It turned out to be okay .The roads weren't too bad and I was able to drive 50 miles an hour on the road home which is about a 16 mile trip.

Here comes the nice part. My husband saw me pull in the driveway and stood out on the front porch to greet me and gave me a big hug and kiss and told me he had missed me. I told him about having to shovel snow and load the wood stove and thanked him for all he does as part of his routine and how it made me appreciate all the things he does to keep the house going. He also told me I had done a good job keeping things going while he was away. He told me all about his trip while I cooked dinner and he told me he was glad to be home since he loves my food. We had chicken with apricot preserve as a marinade sauce, brown rice (he's not a big fan,can't convince him that white rice isn't good for you ), and broccoli, he will only eat the heads.

I am going to bed now after I type this post because I am really tired from all the physical activity which I am not really used to. I will be more assertive about him teaching me how to use the snow blower.

Tomorrow is another day.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

My "Bucket List"

These are just some of the things I would like to experience before I leave this world. I'm really uncertain what happens to us when we expire. It would be comforting to know if there is something afterwards but no one I know has come back from the dead to elaborate or testify.

> visit the Great Wall of China
< take a really good photo of a hummingbird
> sail on the Caribbean
< travel to the Olympics
> swim with dolphins
< ride a gondola in Venice
> write a book
< have a conversation with the Dali Lama
> visit the Baseball Hall of Fame
< watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade (or be in the parade)
> have at least one grandchild
< see peace in this world
> be visited by a friendly alien
< view an amazing sunset while drinking an extraordinary bottle of wine and have Pink Floyd on as loud as possible
> go to the jungle and see lions and tigers in the wild
< visit Tibet

This list is a work in progress and maybe I'll just do some of these things and not really think of it as my "bucket list".

Monday, January 19, 2009

White Flakes in the Sky

not summer
grey snowy days, too many
hats, boots, and gloves
trying to keep warm
car in four wheel drive on way home from work, not happy
drifting and blowing
animal tracks in snow out in yard
snow blower shooting spouts like old faithful
stay inside, read a book with a cup of tea
keeping track of weather forecast
school cancelled
wood stove cranking out heat
under the covers, wearing socks to bed
People scurrying into buildings
seeing your own breath outside
waiting for Spring

Monday, January 12, 2009

What is real?

I recently had a discussion with an acquaintance about his/her computer habits and it occurred to me that there may be times when we mistakenly "believe" there is an actual rather than virtual relationship with our on-line contacts. Being part of the blog network is enjoyable, sharing ideas with other bloggers and at times feeling a sense of kinship. Many of us have original thoughts and an interesting outlook regarding our world. Sometimes we need to share or process some of our experiences and perceptions. There is often inspiration from reading other blogger's posts. I have observed many creative pieces of "literature" which could someday lead to a book or something for some of us frustrated writers who want to be the next Kurt Vonnegut or John Updike. It tends to be a harmless pursuit of expressing our thoughts and attempting to express and explore our feelings. That all being said, I want you all to ask yourself a few important questions......

1. Are there ever missed opportunities to interact with other human beings, having a conversation, going out and participating in some type of activity because you choose to sit at the keyboard?
2. Do any family members make comments about how long you are on the computer and you ignore their comment ? They may be trying to ask you to spend some time with them and instead you stay at your keyboard, maybe making excuses or rationalizing.
3. When was the last time you read a book? Has the amount of time on the computer effected the previous amount of time spent maybe reading or some other type of intellectual pursuit?
4. Do you consider the people whom you trade comments with on your blog(s) as sharing some type of familiarity? Are they your actual friends or virtual?
5. Have you ever considered asking or suggesting a face to face meeting despite knowing anything real about the person other than on-line " chatting"?
6. Have you ever stayed up late to peck away at your keyboard instead of going to bed and cuddling with your significant other?
7.Have you ever referred to an on-line contact as a quote "friend" in a conversation with a real person and maybe failed to mention or make the distinction it is a computer buddy?
8.Do you spend an inordinate amount of time scanning your comment section waiting and hoping for feedback?
9.Have you ever allowed another bloggers comments to dictate your thoughts as a source of self esteem or posted seeking needful validation?
10.Have you ever taken a sick day from work or school so you could spend all day at the computer and no one else would ever know about it?

I have posed some of this inquiries as perhaps a wake up call to some of us who may have forgotten there is a real world out there and we should be participating in it.

A few days ago someone told me an actual true story about their marriage falling apart after meeting someone on-line while gaming. They became "close" friends spending many hours at one of those team member war games. It grew to the point they would actually get up early and have their morning coffee before going to work and chat on-line and exchange numerous e-mails throughout the day until they met up again on the computer to play games in the evening. They were each married to their respective spouses who had become somewhat questioning of their activity which they then would reassure nothing was going on. For various reasons they were not getting their emotional needs met by their partners and instead subjugated their feelings by developing this virtual relationship. It reached the point that one of them left their partner and traveled a great distance to meet up in person. After showing up on the other person's doorstep the other party's spouse was somewhat taken aback but invited the person in. The two computer people steadfastly denied there was anything going on. Basically it tore apart two marriages. One of the people was forgiven by their spouse and eventually returned home after about a week. The person who traveled to the other's home did not think that they had done anything wrong . Regardless of whether they participated in intimacy they had cheated in their hearts,all over the computer. As unbelievable as this story may seem it is actually true.

We need to be aware and careful about those we communicate with over the computer. What do we really know about others and what they choose to tell us? For all you know the on-line person whom you think is witty and interesting may have bodies buried in their basement. I'm obviously exaggerating here to make a point. There is a difference between actual and virtual so try to remember that when you are interacting with other people on-line.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

My daughter gave me a really thoughtful Christmas gift this year as a way of validating and encouraging my blogging. There is a book I would like to mention which may be of help to other bloggers who are stuck or need some inspiration and guidance:

"No One Cares What You Had for Lunch" by Margaret Mason offers 100 ideas for your blog.It offers tips on how to build a following. She has her own blog and receives thousands of visitors per week. The book is published by Peachpit Press. It's an easy read and who knows you might learn something new.

I particularly liked the title because sometimes we may all have a tendency to stray into the mundane. She suggests being more observational and look for a different slant on things. One of the points she also makes in her book is to monitor yourself so it doesn't turn into a constant gripe session in your posts.

Reading this book was helpful to me because one of the important suggestions was for you to stop editing yourself because if you water down your opinion then you may be pandering to being overly concerned about caring so much what other people might think. I think that is definitely something I will try to work on.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Innies and Outies

It's hard to often tell whether people have innies or outies. In colder climates where clothes are necessary to keep us warm the midriff is often covered. In the summertime when clothes are more abbreviated sometimes there may be a glimpse of the belly button.There are also ones that are pierced with a gemstone.

As a member of the Navel Academy I would be classified as an innie. When the umbilical cord is severed at birth is it merely arbitrary which one we end up with? A long time ago in the sixties an old pickup line was "What's your birth sign?" My reply would have been "I was born on the cusp of Aquarius and Pisces". If someone were to ask if I was an innie or an outie my response would have to be "I'm an innie." Perhaps for some this might be a bit too personal. Would this also include "boxers or briefs?" It is what it is ,depending on your definition of what "it" is.( If my quotes seem obscure, I'm referring to our former Prez, BC.) I wonder if he is an innie or an outie?

I have often wondered how lint collects in some people's navel yet not in others. I also wonder if this is at all related to whether you are an innie or an outie. It might be difficult for lint to collect in an outie because there isn't much of an indentation. Is the presence of stomach hair a contributing factor? Someone should research this.The Incan culture believed that Cuzco was the navel of the universe.

The expression " contemplating my navel" refers to a semi meditative state.When I blissfully lay on the beach I am definitely in a state of contemplating my navel. However, I am long past the days of displaying my navel in public. I will leave that for the young damsels in their tiny bikini's. In this current time their are also some tattoos adorning themselves which makes it rather amusing if you enjoy people watching.I've noticed that women have as many tattoos as men now. When I was growing up in my teens the only people who had tattoos were men who had been in the military (or graduates of the Navel Academy). Now it seems those barriers have been broken while we see not so young females with all sorts of artwork showing in some rather interesting places.I think in some work places that might be a turn off. I don't think I would enjoy seeing my gynecologist (male or female) displaying a cartoon character on their forearm during my examination, nor my dentist either.

So the next time you are being introduced for the first time to someone and the conversation begins to fade towards boring why not ask them if they are an innie or an outie and then you can also compare tattoos. Who knows they might be a doctor or a dentist.